Are You Living or Existing?


Are you living or existing?  You can look at this question from different perspectives.  Don’t you think it depends upon how you view living; and how you view existing?  If that is the case; differences in ages, backgrounds, education; and ethnicities play an important role in answering this question.  Yet, the question remains, “Are YOU living or existing?”

It’s personal!

I asked one of my friends who is in his fifties, “Are you living or existing?”  Without hesitation, he said, “Both!”  That spoke volumes.  He took the analytical route and tied the two together.  Living and existing ties to each other to coexist.

I asked my son Justin; who is in the millennial age group; that question.  He chuckled and said, “I’m living.”  Then he said, “I’m coming to life.”  That’s deep.  I thought, “What in the world does, ‘coming to life,’ mean?  Then Justin said, “It depends upon your attitude.”  He said, “Martin Luther King Jr. said something about, “If you’re a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper.”  Wow!  That spoke volumes.

Perhaps the thought behind ‘coming to life,’ deals with your attitude and how you are progressing in your life. 

Justin went on to talk about how he felt when he worked for his first temporary agency years ago.  He said, “At first I thought, ‘I can’t believe I’m working here!’  Then I looked at it differently, and enjoyed the freedom of making arrangements with the companies where they assigned me.”  He explained the process.  But, we’re not going to discuss it in this forum.  The point in his scenario is that he looks at where he is now versus where he was; and it brings a feeling of accomplishment.

Justin’s answer reminded me of my state of mind when I was working, before I had the brain aneurysm and brain surgeries.  I made very good money at my job.  The benefits were excellent; the employees I led were easy to lead; the company was stable; and I was able to use my mind and what I learned in college.  But, being overworked came with total misery.  When I looked for other employment, the pay wasn’t as good.  Fear stopped me from stepping out.   In that case; I was just existing.  I was utilizing my gifts of helps, administration, leading and teaching.  Yet it wasn’t fulfilling; and I felt trapped.

Do you think that’s ungrateful?  Or can you relate?  Have you ever found yourself in a good job; yet you felt inwardly dissatisfied?  Isn’t that a self-imposed state of existing?

That leaves a question.  “Does living tie to being fulfilled?”

I say yes!  With that said, there is another train of thought.  Being fulfilled is different for different people.  You may live in a mansion; drive new cars; have full bank accounts; have multiple degrees; have no material cares in the world; yet those things don’t bring you fulfillment.  Do you feel empty; and you feel like you’re just existing?  The question is why?

There’s yet another way to look at, “Are you living or existing?”

I was in conversation with my cousin/sister/friend Belinda; who lives in St. Louis.  Some may think her living arrangement puts her in the class of just existing.  But she has a totally different perspective.  One that will cause anyone to think.  I told Belinda about the question to this blog post.  I said, “Are you living or existing?”  She immediately said, “In order for anyone to live, it requires them being in a right relationship with Jesus Christ.  It’s serving Jesus that allows us to live.  I’m so glad that I know Jesus and I serve Jesus”  Then she started laughing; praying and praising God. 

I thought about Belinda’s response; as it relates to Justin’s response.  Though different; don’t you think they had similarities?  Living ties to fulfillment.  For some; having a sense of progress in your life is living.  For some, that sense of progress comes from work and career.  For others; that sense of progress is in their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

The key points to think about when living or existing are; freedom, progress, and being Jesus minded!

Let’s look at progress and freedom.  Justin’s transition from anger at being where he was at that temporary agency happened when he gained a sense of progress and freedom.  Now, he continues to progress on this new job; and has plans to progress beyond where he is.  He’s also enjoying life.  We had a very fun time at a restaurant for dinner yesterday.  That’s living.

Let’s look at freedom, progress, and having Jesus first on your mind.  Belinda is doing new things for the Lord and feeling confident in God.  That’s freedom and progress.  She has an entirely renewed mind of praying and telling God, “Yes!”  That’s all three.  She’s living in the midst of obstacles.  Praise God.  Her life is a testimony that it doesn’t take material things for you to live.

I can attest to that.  There are so many things that fit into the description of living.  I was driving my grandson to school and looked up to the sky.  The clouds were simply beautiful.  Enjoying God’s creation Is living.  I sat in church last night and listened to a guess psalmist belt out a song with precision and the anointing of God.  That’s living.  I also listened to an uplifting, inspiring, challenging anointed sermon in church last night by one of our anointed and highly intelligent evangelists.  That’s living.  I also looked at a video on Facebook and saw my First Lady singing melodiously and harmoniously with an orchestra.  She took the song, “Glory,” to an entirely new realm.  That’s living.  …Watching and listening to those three women brought on the thought that utilizing your gifts from God is living.  Sitting here at the library typing this post and enjoying writing; is living.

I’m living!  What about you?

My friends, you can live in the midst of existing.  When you look at existing to live; it gives you an open mind.  You can live with millions; and you can live with minimal income.  I believe that you’re living when you are serving Jesus; actively progressing spiritually and naturally, and walking in your life assignment from the Lord.  The question is; “Where are you walking?”

Thanks for joining me today.  It’s been a couple of weeks; but, being back feels good.  I missed you guys.  Do me a favor and ask yourself, “Am I living or existing?”  We’ll talk soon.




Originally posted 2017-02-13 12:34:59.

Leave a Reply